tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN December 5, 2015 8:00am-9:01am PST
>> the would, that i do, this is like the air that i breath. i can't stop. >> were you scared of sharon stone? >> i love sharon stone. >> an inspiration. >> and we'll rise up. ♪ >> a celebration of humanity with a little help from a special guest that ends with one life-changing moment. >> the 2015 cnn hero of the year. we need some inspiration, don't we? watch the entire show this sunday, 8:00 p.m. eastern. that is tomorrow night. go make great memories today and thank you so much to are making us part of your morning. i want to turn it over now to my colleague, fredricka whitfield. >> how are you? >> busy morning. >> i am going to let you take it away. thanks so much. have a great day. appreciate it. hello, everyone. it is the 11:00 eastern hour. i am fredricka whitfield. the "newsroom" starts right now.
we begin with new developments in wednesday's shooting rampage in san bernardino, california. an isis radio station announcing the two shooters were supporters of the terrorist group. tashfeen malik and her husband, sayed rizwan farouk killed 14 people and wounded 21 others by opening fire at the regional center. they both died in a police shootout. an official close to the investigation telling cnn that the female attacker, posted on pace book pledging allegiance to abu ab dar al baghdadi. they are investigating as an act of terrorism. let's get to paul san ddoval.
what more did we learn about the package addressed to the shooter's home? >> reporter: it did turn out to be a false alarm. it was enough to leave many on edge. three days since the shooting. this story is still heavy on the minds of people. it is all over the local headlines. the reminders were right there. >> san bernardino on edge. overnight, police evacuated a ups facility and called in the bomb squad to investigate a package. it was addressed to the home of syed farouk. it turned out to be safe posing no threat. >> this comes as the fbi announces the mass shooting is being investigating as an act of terrorism. >> we are spending a tremendous amount of time trying to understand the motives of these killers and trying to understand every detail of their lives. >> another recent revelation about tashfeen malic, the female shooter that left 14 dead and 21
wounded. she posted a pledge of allegiance to el baghdadi on facebook while the shooting was happening. the mass shooting may have been inspired by isis. the terror group did not direct or order the attack. it may be a case of self-radicalization, a possibility that's left family members baffled. >> i asked myself if i had called them that morning or the night before, asked him how he was doing, what he was up to, if i had any inclination, maybe i could have stopped it. >> meanwhile, police are down playing the possibility that farouk appeared angry when he suddenly left the holiday luncheon, only to return heavily armed with his wife. >> we have initial information from a witness or some witnesses that left the party that it appeared he left upset. there is also indication from other people that he was there, nothing out of the ordinary and
suddenly, he was gone. >> so investigators will be spending all weekend poring over all of the evidence that was recovered from inside the town home and also had several crime scenes. it is going to be very important here. investigators can confirm this potential isis link. if you are looking at this attack being, perhaps, the bloodiest one on american soil with ties to foreign terrorists since 9/11. you hear from the family of farouk themselves. their attorneys saying they don't want anybody to jump to any conclusions but quick to judge that they want the fbi to come up with conclusive evidence that he was radicalized. let's talk more about this with cnn law enforcement analyst, jonathan gilliam and national security analyst, peter ber kin. he is also the author of united states of jihad investigating america's home grown terrorists. let me begin with you. this radio station that is claiming the shooters were isis
supporters. how credible is this radio station? how would it know whether anyone is, indeed, a supporter, a fighter or a follower? >> the radio station is believed to be run by isis people or sympathizers, behaving opportunistically. they are saying these people are supporters. everything we know. we heard through the lowers of the family yesterday, kind of say it is not clear. i don't know what this he said. it was a very confusing press conference. we know from multiple fbi officials that she pledged allegiance toal baghdadi and the facts speak for themselves. what are your instincts telling you? do you believe that she may have been groomed long before her journey to the u.s., groomed by isis.
she was living in jetta or saudi arabia for many years. was she an ultrafundamentalist when she met her husband? that's quite possible. did they radicalize in the united states? the period they lived in the united states was the period when isis came to prominence. he became more devout when he went to saudi arabia. his co-worker said he grew a beard. clearly, he was going down the pathway of radicalization at the same time this he met her. you can high poth size they ral calized each other. >> investigators did see some cell phones that were crushed. the home's computer is missing its hard drive. these shooters knew how to cover their tracks. can information still be retrieved from them?
>> sure. the cart investigators and td computer investigators and fbi are tremendous in getting information. they have gotten stuff off of computers that have been burnt or hard drives crushed. they may not always be able to get a complete picture. they are going to be able to get information off of those things. that's very, very important. i'll just say this one thing following up with what peter was saying. we have to start looking. as an investigator, we have to look at what is happening inside islam. we say radicalized. the reality is that islam has a virus running through its blood system. if we get a virus and it runs through ours, and it masks itself. that's why we continue to see people who become more devout. they can be recruited into fundamentalist thinking. that's what's happening here. that's something that we really need to start looking at. the muslim community needs to start looking at. did somebody change quickly once
they became more devout in their religion. >> it is a controversial study of the radicalization process that makes much the same points that jonathan made, which is there is a pathway to radicalization. there are lots of ultrafundamentalists in the world. very few are terrorists. very few christian fundamentalists attack abortion clinics. >> i disagree, christianity is not built on the same thing that fundamental islam is built on. christ didn't go conquering like mohammed did 1400 years ago. there is a fundamental difference there. >> i am not going to have a theological debate. >> you shouldn't make those statements, then. >> would you let me finish? >> all right. finish real quick. go ahead, peter. there are fundamentalists of
every stripe. very few fundamentalists do acts of violence. trying to find the people willing to do kt as acts of vio is hard. >> perhaps we will pick it up from there later on in the other. jonathan gillian, peter bergen, appreciate it. >> it is important to believe that people that were gunned down because they went to work and attended a holiday party with their coworkers. >> we hear from victims, loved ones. >> they were cherished family members, best friends, parents, 14 people between 26 and 60 who spent their final day celebrating together, kissing their loved ones good-bye in the morning, never believing they wouldn't come home. >> the thought that was running through my mind was just, no, no, no, this isn't true. >> ryan reyes drove his
boyfriend shlgs daniel kaufman to the regional center as he did most mornings. kaufman ran a coffee shop where he trained disabled employees. he was taking a break on a bench outside where he was killed. >> he meant the world to me. he meant the absolute world to me. sorry. >> many of the victims were parents leaving behind at least 18 children whose world's are now changed forever. >> she was an amazing person. she was so nice. she always liked supporting me in everything i did. >> bennetta betbadal had three children and came from iran at age 18 to escape religious extremism. >> we find it sadly ironic and horrible that a woman that came to the country under these circumstances would find herself gunned down by religious
extremists. he leaves behind six children and his wife, renee. a friend speaking for the family told cnn how renee learned of his murder. >> the last group of survivors came and he wasn't in it. they told her that if he wasn't in there, he was gone. >> robert adams had always wanted to be a dad. he and his wife welcomed a little girl 20 months alg on a fund-raising page set up for his family. a friend posted he was 100% in daddyland. his family says he cherished every moment with his daughter. 27-year-old sierra claiborne and yeah ve vel as sko were share ished. the family of the youngest victim is too. aurora godoy was just 26. she leaves behind a husband and a 2-year-old son.
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to commit this act of terror and would underscore a threat we have been focused on for years, the danger of people succumbing to violent, treextremist ideologies. >> it came on the very day that they said isis will not propose an extreme threat to the u.s. >> good morning, fred. the news that the attacks may have been inspired by isis is only fueling criticism that the president's strategy to defeat has failed. he is arguing obama's strategy is driven by politics, not natural security. >> we are seeing the evil of radical islamic terrorism here, at home. murdering innocent americans. it underscores the need for a strong and serious commander in chief who will keep this country
safe. >> for his part, obama has worried publicly for years about the possibility of an attack by a lone wolf that was, in fact, self-radicalized. as law enforcement will tell you, fred, it is incredibly difficult to track terrorists working in isolation. on the day of the attacks but before the possible isis link was discovered, obama again down played the threat isis poses. >> isil will not pose an existential threat to us. they air dangerous organization like al qaeda was. we have hardened our defenses, our homeland has never been more protected by more effective intelligence and law enforcement officials at every level they are now. >> even before the massacre in california, americans expressed doubts about obama's strategy. a survey out last month found that more than half of those polled disapproved of how the president has handled the issue.
that's not a good sign for the president as his administration comes to grips with what could be the biggest terrorist attack in america since 9/11. fred. >> chris frates in washington, thanks so much. we'll be right back. more "sit" per roll. bounty is two times more absorbent. so one roll of bounty can last longer than those bargain brands. so you get more "life" per roll. bounty. the long-lasting quicker picker upper.
mcdonald. the teen shot 16 times by a chicago police officer. cnn has obtained null released police reports from the incident. they contain officer's accounts of the shooting that happened in 2014. they are dramatically different than what the dash cam video shows. we want to remind our viewers, the video and images of mcdonald's shootings are graphic. it is important to see how they compare to the police reports. to go through these differences. i'm joined by cnn's rosa floore. what are the discrepancies. >> we have been looking through these documents. one of the first things that stood out to me was something in one of the pages that says that officer van dyke was actually injured by laquan mcdonald, by, quote, the offender. when all of these pages, the police officers on the scene including jason van dyke, is listed as a victim and la quon
mcdonald as an offender. back to the video. we want to warp our viewers. this video is graphic. i have to take you through it to show you how different the account is. we are going to take you through this. officer van dyke arrives on scene with other police officers. within six seconds of his arrival, he starts firing his weapon. on that video, you see laquan mcdonald in the middle of the street walking. here is what jason van dyke's account says. he says, quote, he was swinging the knife in an aggressive, exaggerated manner. he goes on to say mcdonald raised the knife across his chest and over his shoulder pointing the knife at van dyke and attempting to kill van dyke. now, the officer goes on to say
that in defense for his life, he shot his weapon. then, goes on to say mcdonald fell to the ground but continued to move and continued to grasp his knife, refusing to let go of it. that's not what we see. we see mcdonald is on the ground while officer van dyke continues firing his weapon. here is what jason van dyke said was his account. he appeared to be attempting to get up, all while continuing to point the knife at van dyke and that's the officer, officer jason van dyke. now, fred, i've got to bring you in. here is one of the other things that really does not make sense as we look at these documents. so that was jason van dyke's account. now, other officers on the scene, on this report, because
each officer gives their account, other officers on the scene have similar accounts, that don't match what we are seeing in that video. i'm going to quote from another officer on scene. it says, mcdonald ignored verbal direction and we don't have audio on this video that we have but here is the crux of this. but, instead, raised his right arm towards officer van dyke as if to attack van dyke. of course, now, in seeing the video, fred, with he know that jason van dyke's account doesn't match the video and the account of some of the other officers on scene also don't match the video. >> i'm joined by cnn former analyst and special agent, jonathan gilliam and philip
holloway. philip, you first, of those discrepancies that rosa just played out, what are the three that most stand out to you. >> it is striking. rosa picked up on a lot of the same things i picked up on. there were multiple accounts by these other officers on the scene that mcdonald lunged at officer van dyke. we saw that wasn't the case. there is one report that says three of the officers were battered by mcdonald. >> you don't see that. >> in all likelihood, it seems it didn't happen. perhaps the biggest thing that stands out at me is that investigators that have reviewed this very thick file and have seen the video came to the conclusion that the officer's account was corroborated by what they found in the video. that doesn't seem to make sense. >> there is a concerted effort to try to stay in line with a
story. >> police reports must be accurate and rae liable or there will be no confidence in the investigation. i think it is clear why the police union was so quick to come out and say it was a justified shooting. all they had was the preliminary reports by the officers on the scene. that may explain how this seemingly inaccurate narrative got started. it doesn't explain why it got started. if this is some effort by the other officers to circle the wagons in defense of officer van dyke. that's a big problem. >> jonathan, i love to weigh in with you now. if you know and we're hearing it from philip. if it seems as though the narrative, the story, the written report, is going to be in contrast with what the dash cam video says does it simply underscore there was a certainly, a feeling that this
dash cam video would never be revealed. no one would ever be able to compare the written report to the dash cam video? >> i'm not trying to defend this at all. >> can you start your response again. the top part of your response was clipped. your mike was clipped. start that from the beginning. >> i don't want people to think i'm going out to defend this shooting. i will say, if you back up the footage to this point right here where you see him go into a jog and takes the knife out and provocatively slings it. that actually was over his shoulder. he did slipping the knife to the side. that part in the statement is actually true. now -- >> he is walking away. it looks like he is walking adjacent. >> that's our angle, fred. remember, that the suv that just pulled up there, he has been chasing him for over 30 seconds already. so at this point, he starts to veer off to the right. there is another cop car that just pulled up in front of him. we can go through all this
different terminology and the different aspects of it. there are parts i don't see. i never saw him lunge at any of the officers or assault him. i thought there were reports earlier he had stabbed one of the police car's windows with two officers in it. i don't know if you would call that assault. this is another policy that could be fixed in police departments where when there is a shooting like this, officers should be -- as soon as the other responding officers get there, they should be separated and write the reports right there. then, those reports should be collected. that way, there is no time for any of these rumors to get started that they collaborated to come up with a story. >> it is still perplexing that these officers knew on one vehicle, there was a dash cam of video. why should there ever be room for inconsistency of what the dash cam video said to what's written in the record. philip? >> i've seen thousands of police
videos in my career. i can tell you, there is always some degree of inconsistency. >> it would be slight, wouldn't it. >> they are usually slight. they usually don't difficult verge to this degree. officers oftentimes right their reports hours later under the effects of adrenaline. there are reasons you might have slight discrepancies but major ones like this are very troubling. >> i will stand by my statements from earlier when this happened. i think the initial shooting was justified. the way he was walking towards the officer, the provocative movement with the knife, the history tore the past few minutes that led up to that, all this stuff leads up to a good initial shoot. when he was on the ground, though. >> you said initial. >> as the shooting continues and
he is on the ground, are you seeing the threat van dyke described? the lunging of that and the ground? >> once he is on the ground, the tactics that we are taught is you stop, re-assess and if you have to, you reengage. >> i saw a movement but i didn't see any movement where i thought he could actually get up. again, fred, this only happened in 14 seconds. so the speed at which this goes down and the interpretation that this officer that's at a heightened threat level is going to have is different than we are going to have when we are watching this video. it was a different angle also from the car. that is not a justification but things that will be taken into account in court. >> 14 seconds, 16 shots. thanks so much, gentlemen. appreciate it. we'll be right back. i don't want to live with the uncertainties of hep c. or wonder... ...whether i should seek treatment.
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the couple that was carrying out the attack in san bernardino, california, are supporters. they made the declaration on the official radio station today. here is a closer look at tashfeen malik, born and raised in pakistan and moved to saudi arabia between 18 and 20. she came to the you united states on a fiancee visa and married sayed rizwan farouk and six months ago had a baby daughter. we have more on the woman's background and the criminal investigation. >> reporter: investigators are homing in on tashfeen malik, the wife and second shooter in the san bernardino attack that claimed the lives of 14 people. three u.s. officials familiar with the investigation say as the massacre was happening, malik posted on facebook a
pledge of allegiance to isis leader abu al bakar baghdadi. that's the mosque sayed farouk attended. >> reporter: so the women were up there? >> yes. >> reporter: women are separated from the men so even the director of the islamic center never met malik. she is a mystery to those that knew her best. sayed's brothers never saw her face. >> the brothers had never seen her face. she did wear a burqa. >> reporter: they first met like many on the web. farouk had joined dating websites. he came across malik. he turned to him for marital advice. >> he said, i feel comfortable
with this person and i believe she is a good woman, a decent woman, a religious woman. he flew to saudi arabia to meet her in october, 2013, during the haj pilgrimage. malik's father lived in saudi arabia. she often visited. he went again in june, 2014. documents show she entered the u.s. a month later. their marriage certificate filed in riverside county says they were legally married in august of that year. members of the mosque first met malik at their wedding ceremony met here. abdul aziz akmed was one of the hundred that met the wedding. >> reporter: after coming to this mosque every day for two years, farouk stopped. how can this happen? a guy that was very good.
he doesn't have any problem with anybody. you don't hear talking about those mad men like those crazy terrorists. he never talk about those kind of people. >> reporter: did the marriage change him? >> i suspect there is something wrong. >> reporter: farouk's co-worker, christian wadiqi tells cbs news that he is certain the marriage changed farouk? >> do you believe he was radicalized? >> yes, by the wife. i think he married a terrorist. >> reporter: most puzzling, says friends, farouk would be a good father and would have wanted to live a life with the family. >> i don't understand. how can a woman just leave her baby like this and go do some crap like this. >> let's talk more about this. joining me now from new milford, cnn contributor, casey jordan, a
criminologist. >> you just heard, those that have reaction with the couple, their gut feeling is that malik is the one that influenced farouk. investigators are saying during the attack malik pledged loyalty to the leader of isis on facebook. is it your gut feeling that she may have been the one spear heading this whole mission? >> i have to tell you that based on what we know, this looks like the most likely scenario based on the people that knew them both and also based on the facts that we can not forget that sayed was born in american. he is an american citizen and was raised here. his culture is that that is american. yes, he is a muslim-american. she came from pakistan. you have to remember, they really could not have known each other very well. it is one thing to meet somebody on an online dating site. it is another thing to get a mail order bride. to go overseas and meet them and bring them back and realize, i am married to this person and then get to know them.
he may not have even known what she was like and what her politics were alike and her allegiance until she came here. >> she came by way of pakistan and saudi arabia. if she came with a plan that would better explain why no one noticed any behavioral differences. maybe, she didn't really evolve well in the u.s. but because potentially coming with a plan, she already knew how to mask what may have been a planned hatched well before being with sayed farouk. >> that's the real question, with he may never know the answer to, unless we can reconstruct it through computer records. did she date bait him? come here, find him online as a long-term plan to carry out this terrorist attack that we saw on wednesday or was she a person who was fundamentally muslim but came here, was very unhappy, fell into a pit of depression. maybe even suffered from a mental illness or a chemical
imbalance so it ballooned in her head over the last 15 months and became something she was determined to carry out and that she actually got her husband to join her in. maybe it was a little bit more 50/50. chances are she is the one that was really driving this out-of-control bus. >> casey jordan, thanks so much from new milford, connecticut. still to come, survivors of the san bernardino shooting speaking to cnn, describing the terrifying moments that gunfire rang out. that these residents still have lives and their lives still matter and that they are still living their lives. that they're not locked away and that they still have a lot to live for, you know, that they have people that care about them and they have people that love them and i love them, so their lives still matter. that is what i do this for.
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we're learning more about the victims of the san bernardino mass shooting. 14 killed. 21 others injured. mothers, wives, husbands, friends, gone in a moment of senseless violence. two survivors recount the terrifying experience. >> i was at the back table that was near the exterior door. >> we were on break at that current time. >> i was at the table getting coffee and checking out the goodies that were sitting there. it was at that point in time when we all heard the gun fire right outside the door. we all turned to look at the door to watch him come in. >> is there anything else you want to say about what happened from the on in terms of in those moments?
>> i mean, just instinct kicks in, adrenaline kicks in. there is such an amazing path. i was under the table with the staff and we kind of held on to each other. >> so there were tables that you could try to hide under? >> the tables with the food, yes. as soon as we saw him come in, we -- >> the rest of the staff had tables. some less exposed. some more exposed than others. immediately, i saw, before i went under my table, people going under their tables throughout the room. >> trying to find safety. >> did you have a sense of how long it went on for? often people can lose a sense of time in something like this.
>> realistically, no. it seemed like it was forever. it seemed like it went on forever. >> it did. it seemed like the shooting just went on forever. >> all i could think of was, why doesn't he stop? >> why does he keep shooting? >> did either of them say anything? >> i never heard anything spoken. the first thing, the door flew open, immediately, the shots started being fired. >> incredible eyewitness accounts there. again, 14 killed. 21 injured. we'll be right back. i brto get us moving.tein i'm new ensure active high protein. i help you recharge with nutritious energy and strength. i'll take that. yeeeeeah! new ensure active high protein. 16 grams of protein and 23 vitamins and minerals. ensure. take life in.
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is holding a rally in iowa after a poll showing trump with 36% support among republican voters. that's 20 points ahead of the nearest competitor, ted cruz. so, the poll also shows 46% of gop voters think trump is the best to handle isis, which he talked about last night in north carolina. >> how would you handle that? >> well, i would handle it so tough, you have no idea. you don't want to hear. you don't want to hear how i would handle it. >> let's bring in ron brown, the director at the national journal. he says you won't want to hear it. he has this tough talk, but no specifics. instead of it impacting polling, the polling only gos up. how do you explain it?
>> the republican race can be explained in two sentences, they are consolidated around donald trump and the white collar is. trump is at 46%, an unbelievable number. nearly four times the amount of ted cruz at 12%. when you look at college educated republicans, 18%. three candidates are ahead of him, ted cruz, ben carson and marco rubio. the white collar ring doesn't have one alternative around trump. he is stronger than anyone imagined he could be outside his own entourage. whether as the race goes on the white collar republicans unify behind one candidate. >> it's not so simple when you look at the cnn poll which shows trump and cruz at number one and
two. in an overall race against hillary clinton, rubio, carson and bush are actually, you know, in a tighter race there. what does that say to you? >> this is interesting. first of all, i think it's hard to draw too much or lean too much on general election numbers. that choice isn't defined to voters. the tip off is how little variation there are in numbers. clinton's vary between 47 and 50. the republicans are between 47 and 50. you are getting generic readings. what's interesting is, as you know, you had republican leaders and strategists in a room. privately, they tell you they believe cruz and trump are the weakest general election candidates, but they are leading in the poll. when you ask in this survey, you ask republican voters, 52% believe trump is the strongest general election candidate, a
better number than the horse race. you have a divide between voters and insiders that is going to play out as the race gets going. >> wow. okay. it's weeks now away. isn't that something? >> just weeks. >> we were saying months, now weeks, people. ron brownstein thanks so much. tune in to cnn on december 15th. just next week for the final gop presidential debate this year. we will bring it to you live from las vegas starting at 9:00 p.m. eastern time. we'll be right back.
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because we should fit into your life. not the other way around. hello, again. thanks for joining me. i'm fredricka whitfield. police are closer to finding a possible motive in the shooting in california. the two shooters were supporters of the terrorist group. tashfeen malik and her husband syed farook opened fire at the regional center. they both died in a police shootout hours later. the female attacker, malik, posted on facebook to